The Ancient Fiction
An apology against a selective reading of history that aggrandizes particular nations over others.
You fools that pick an choose from song
of Clio, once spoken and spoken once again
for likes of you! Why doth thy lie and ancient
fiction perpetuate of thine worth? One would
think that the cluster crowned by Britain did
hold sway over world, and thine fitful skirmish
did write and determine destiny across the seas!
But even Britain, so proud and spread over
quarter of the earth and sea, did not last more
than four generations, to be given without
fight to its first rebellious child. The kingdom
of Genghis Khan laid rule firmer over swaths
of solid earth than the outposts that meant
to India subdue and with it ocean-sea.
Oxford and Harvard stand as first temple
and refuge of learning in thine mythology,
and men before did not think or wonder.
But Maecenas was early thirteen centuries
to raise and patron Virgil to Roman glory,
and August governed an Empire more united
than that which scare, unwilling founded
these tiny croppings in the array of world.
Be taught instead and know that royal saint
discerned and donated pious gift of Jagiellonian
learning that shares the ancient heritage with
papal academies and the libraries of Baghdad
whose wisdom preserved of Greeks did dye
Euphrates for half moon beneath Mongol pillage.
Truth faithful to the muse doth dispel the
darkness of the plebs, that lays as heavy chain
of humiliation on heroic peoples forgotten,
links of pride on those inflated by hubris.
My pen purchases the freedom won already,
recalls geniuses from oblivion, and raises
to equal rank and brilliance all the peoples
the Lord has summoned and knit by sea.